Getting to Space
To maximize receipt of innovative and unconventional project ideas, CASIS engages with researchers and organizations to discuss the best ways to match the unique benefits of space science with each entity’s R&D goals. Via this collaborative model for developing personalized projects, CASIS communicates the value of the ISS to new parties, assists in project development, vets high-quality proposals, and offers resulting initiatives support and coordination to succeed.
Prospective researchers can connect with the CASIS team, either through our business development outreach or the CASIS website, to discuss their idea. The CASIS team will engage with the prospective researcher to transition the idea into a formal project proposal for subject matter expert evaluation.
The CASIS operations team performs a technical feasibility review of proposals to ensure the viability for flight, consulting as needed with NASA and outside technical experts. This review is an unscored, pass–fail initial screening.
A panel of subject matter experts, in the relevant focus area, evaluate proposals that pass operations review. Their evaluation will consider both the original proposal and any additional information provided by the operations team. The principal investigator may be contacted for clarifications or revisions.
Similar to the scientific review process, subject matter experts evaluate the proposals for the potential to have tangible or intangible economic or commercial impact. Reviewers evaluate commercial letters of support, which are highly encouraged, during this stage.
In parallel with economic review, the CASIS compliance team reviews projects, providing notes regarding data integrity, risk liability, ethics and research integrity, regulatory compliance, and conflicts of interest.
The CASIS executive council meets quarterly or on an ad hoc basis to review highly ranked projects. The council prioritizes projects for award of flight opportunity on the basis of scientific merit, potential economic value, educational opportunities, timeline and cost, and ability to diversify the ISS National Lab research portfolio.
Once a project has been selected for flight, the CASIS operations team works side-by-side with the principal investigator to best translate the proposal into a flight-ready payload and ensure necessary NASA requirements are met. CASIS has an extensive network of experienced service providers that also may assist in this process.